In fact, the latest studies from that same source show that teen sexual activity has dropped under the 50 percent mark. According to that study the actual overall use of contraception has fallen. While the use of condoms has increased, it was offset by a decrease in the use of oral contraceptives which are more effective at preventing pregnancy. Carrie Abbott, Executive Director of SHARE (Sexuality, Health and Relationship Education) draws this conclusion:
"A close look at the data clearly reveals that reducing pregnancy and abortion rates can only be attributed to decreased sexual activity. In other words, abstinence works. The real cultural impact is not because of an increase in the use of contraception, but because of a renewed commitment to honoring the special place for sex within marriage." <
The fact is that teens want the opportunity to make and keep noble commitments. They are beginning to reject the rhetoric of a generation which presented sex as "free." They know that nothing worthwhile in life is free. A local survey of Seattle teens which appeared in the Mirror newspaper asked a cross-section of students if they were virgins. Fifty-seven percent said yes. That figure is higher than the national average. Some good news for Seattle. It confirms something I have told families who are moving here. Seattle can be good place to raise your children. Of course, participation in ones church is a key factor in children growing up with good values. The same study in the Mirror asked teenagers when they would like to become sexually active. Thirty-one percent said when they are married. Fifty-one percent said when they are in a deeply committed relationship. Our job is to help those young people understand they are saying the same thing. The only truly "deeply committed relationship" is marriage itself. Living together before marriage is a trap. Carrie Abbot concluded her article in the Washington Citizen with these words:
"Let's stop offering pills, shots and condoms. Let's present this generation with a picture of a deeply committed relationship - Marriage.... The majority of adults in Washington believe that couples should wait to have sex until they are married. Research shows that couples who do wait have stronger marriages. Isn't this what we want for our children and grandchildren?"
The Pro-Choice Argument
Post Abortion Healing
Interview on Birth Control
Human Cloning: A Catholic Perspective (How the Unthinkable Became Inevitable)
Mary Bloom Center for Natural Family Planning
Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Birth Control (by Protestants Against Birth Control)
The Preacher and the Pill (How the Church and feminism gave a woman control of her body)
Artificial birth control as a major root cause of poverty: Keynote Address to St. Vincent de Paul Regional Gathering, May 16, 1997.
What Every Catholic Couple Should Know
For more on the struggle between dissent and orthodoxy see my review of Flawed Expectations.
Why Humanae Vitae Was Right An excellent book on the Birth Control Debate edited by Dr. Janet Smith
Review of Why Humanae Vitae Was Right
A clear and concise Summary of Church Teaching on Contraception
Chemical Abortions (Interview with Dr. Thomas Hilgers, M.D.)
To plan or postpone pregnancy: Billings Method
Cukierski Family Apostolate
"Not Your Mother's Birth Control"
Infertile and Catholic: Help for Catholic couples who have been unable to have children.
The Moral Difference between NFP and Birth Control. (Response to letter from Ken Stuart.)
He Approached the Victim: "It's much more likely one of your relatives will lose his life by surgical abortion than by heart attack."
Surviving as a Catholic Family (Archbishop Charles Chaput reflects on the difference between Birth Control and Natural Family Planning)
Stem Cell Research: Teaching of Bible & Catholic Church
Germaine Greer on Birth Control